Mercedez Benz is the latest weapon brought to bear in the battle for premium travelers as Emirates unveiled new, fully enclosed first-class suites and refreshed cabins for its Boeing 777s.
Hot on the heels of Singapore Airlines’ recent A380 reveal, the Gulf carrier revealed a first class cabin that incorporates design features inspired by the Mercedes S-class car.
New aircraft featuring the cabins will enter commercial service on December 1, starting with flights to Geneva and Brussels.
The cabin offers 40 sq. ft of personal space and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors in a 1-1-1 layout.
It is part of a multi-million-dollar refresh that sees new seat innovations and upgraded entertainment in all cabins.
It is a refresh Emirates president Tim Clark said was designed to “raise the bar and exceed our customers’ expectations’.
“Aside from our new fully enclosed private suites, business class features our latest fully-flat leather seats with personal minibars, economy class seats have adjustable full leather headrests, and the in-flight entertainment system has been upgraded for all cabin classes,’’ he said.
“Throughout the aircraft, our customers will see modern and airy cabins, with painstaking attention to detail evident in design touches such as the textured wall and ceiling panels, lighting features, and more.”
Sir Tim said the new first class suites marked the first time Emirates, which pioneered the first class suites concept in 2003, had been so heavily influenced by another luxury brand. The S-Class cars will also now be used for the airline’s first-class chauffeur service in the UAE.
The Mercedes influence can be seen in soft leather seating, high-tech control panels, and mood lighting as well as a new color palette of soft greys, cream and champagne.
The latest Emirates 777 aircraft with these new features will enter commercial service on 1 December, making its debut on flights to Geneva and Brussels.
The seat reclines into a fully flat bed and can be placed in a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA and designed to give a feeling of relaxation and weightlessness.
A new innovation is a “virtual window’’ for suites in the middle aisle which project the view from outside the aircraft using real-time camera technology.
Passengers communicate with the cabin crew, or request for room service using a video call function and the suites come with a service window so that drinks and canapes can be served without disturbing the occupants.
Storage includes a newly-designed overhead compartment and a full-length cupboard for hanging clothes.
The airline says it has retained and updated the most popular features of its private suites such as the personal mini bar and wireless controls to adjust seating positions.
The new suite was created in collaboration with Boeing, Rockwell Collins interior systems, Panasonic, Jacques Pierre Jean Design studio and Seattle-based design firm Teague.
In business class, a diamond cross-stitch pattern adorning the leather seats and an ergonomically designed headrest also take inspiration from the sports car.
The fully-flat seat has a generous 72-inch pitch as well as touchscreen controls, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats, a shoe storage area, footrest, and a personal mini-bar.